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Ford Foundation to Open Gallery for Socially Engaged Art in New York

Tiffany Chung, finding one’s shadow in ruins and rubble, 2014. Chung’s work will be featured in “Perilous Bodies,” the inaugural show at the Ford Foundation Gallery.

COURTESY TYLER ROLLINS FINE ART, NEW YORK

Next month, the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice will open an art gallery in its iconic Midtown headquarters, which just underwent a two-year renovation. Titled the Ford Foundation Gallery, the space will be helmed by Lisa Kim, who has previously served as curatorial affairs director for the real-estate company Two Trees Management.

“It’s a new way to present art, and our goal is to provide a global perspective and show how art is a vital component to pushing forward social change,” Kim told ARTnews. “We’re here to offer up a new platform for new voices for artists.”

Darren Walker, the foundation’s president, said in a statement, “Arts and creative expression have played an indelible role in building social justice movements. We’re thrilled to open the doors of this special space, a forum for artists to experiment and create a vibrant and necessary dialogue with the public.”

The first exhibition at the Ford Foundation Gallery is “Perilous Bodies,” a group show curated by artists Jaishri Abichandani and Natasha Becker that will focus on justice and injustice as they relate to class, gender, and race. Among the artists included are Dineo Seshee Bopape, Nona Faustine, Wendy Red Star, and Margarita Cabrera. The exhibition opens on March 5 and runs through May 11, and is part of a planned trilogy of shows called “Utopian Imagination.”

The Ford Foundation Gallery will be free and open to the public, and it is “free from commercial constraints,” Kim said. “We’re not here to sell anything.” She added that the space is founded on ideas of “trust, urgency, and transparency,” and will hopefully act as a hub for artists, Ford grantees, and representatives from similar organizations.

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